May 1st, 2010
07:00 AM ET

Dear President Obama #467: “She's a ramblin' wreck…”

Reporter's Note: The president, as I have noted before, has two daughters, and so do I. Here’s a difference, however, one of mine is now finally, officially college bound. Hooray! I hope she writes as many letters to our house as I write to the White House. Hint hint hint.

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Congratulate me! My entire family had some very good news today. As you know, we’ve been grinding through the complex process of helping our elder daughter choose a college; she’s been visiting campuses, filling our forms, soliciting letters of recommendation, taking part in interviews, fielding phone calls, trading e-mails, reading pamphlets, and on and on and on. It’s more complex than the seating chart at a Soprano family wedding. And she has finally made her choice.

After considering many fine and impressive universities, she has decided to go to the great and glorious Georgia Institute of Technology. Yep, next fall we will load up the car (with no doubt far too much of her stuff…and trust me, she has some stuff!) roll out of DC, and head south to Atlanta where she will fall in with all the other RATS (Recently Acquired Tech Students) to bellow the fight song, wield their graphing calculators like light sabers, and discuss movies/football/wookies/differential equations and much more with the boundless enthusiasm only the young fully know. She plans to major in Aerospace Engineering, a dream she’s had for seven or eight years now, and the school is being more than generous in support of her efforts.

Here’s the thing though, while we are outrageously proud of her accomplishment, and have seen first hand how hard she has worked, we recognize too how much this is a triumph of the many as much as it is of the one.

She has known good teachers and school administrators, decent friends, caring clergy, inspired artists, dedicated scientists, and loving family members; she has enjoyed the kindness of strangers, the inspiration of history’s geniuses and writers, and the greatness of a country in which it remains true…for all our struggles…that anyone might become a doctor, a president, or an astronaut. She has, by accident and fortune of birth, grown up in a nation where big dreams are the essence of our being; dreams big enough to be shared and to lift all of humankind to greater accomplishments.

So I guess what I should have said at the top is congratulate not me, but us…all of us; all of the Americans coast to coast who every day help young people of all types in all places hope, strive, and grow. Because each time one of them succeeds, we all succeed a little bit too.

Don’t call unless you just want to join in the celebration. Or unless you want to help when moving time comes. Ha!


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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